It’s time for some chocolate babka, I think. To celebrate the time of year when you can turn the oven on to warm the house.
This Babka is a lovely fluffy bread with chocolate ribbons running through it, and it’s rich and luscious. This beautifully attractive chocolate babka is ideal for any meal or occasion. Both loaves can be eaten right away, or one can be frozen for later use.
If you’ve never tried chocolate babka, all you need to know is that it’s half bread, half cake, and completely amazing! It’s difficult to stop at just one slice of this yeast-based dough, which is sweet, soft, and buttery. I really adore how pretty each slice is, thanks to the chocolate layers running through the babka bread.
I rarely utter things like “the best ever” when it comes to my baked goods, owing to my deep fear and constant self-criticism. So, if I tell you that this chocolate babka is the best you’ve ever had, you should trust me.
Prep Time: 9 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 9 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
For the Dough:
4 large eggs room temperature
2¼ teaspoons instant yeast (1.25-ounce packet)
4½ cups all-purpose flour (540g)
½ cup whole milk room temperature
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
10 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature (142g)
For the Filling:
½ cup heavy cream (120mL)
¾ cup powdered sugar (90g)
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (30g)
½ cup unsalted butter cubed (113g)
8 ounces chopped dark chocolate (225g)
For the Syrup:
⅓ cup water (80mL)
⅓ cup granulated sugar (66g)
For the Dough:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, and yeast. Mix on low speed with the dough hook attachment until the eggs, milk, and salt are mixed and a dough begins to form, about 2 minutes.
Add a tablespoon or so of butter at a time, waiting for it to be fully blended before adding more. Once the butter has been added, continue kneading for another 10 minutes, scraping down the sides of the basin occasionally, until a smooth elastic dough develops. The dough will remain sticky, but it will be quite elastic.
Turn the dough into a large greased bowl. Then cover the bowl and cool for at least 8 hours or overnight.
For the Filling:
Combine butter and cream in a small pot. Cook, stirring constantly, until the butter has melted and the mixture is steaming. Add chocolate and stir well, remove the pan from the heat once the chocolate has melted. Combine the powdered sugar and cocoa powder into the mixture. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool for 1 hour, or until thickened to a spreadable consistency.
For the αssembly:
Brush 2 (8×4-inch) loaf pans with butter or flour with baking spray. Then use parchment paper to line the pan.
Divide the chilled dough in half on a lightly floured surface, and return one dough ball to the fridge. Roll the dough into a 12×16-inch rectangle with your hands.
On three sides, spread half of the filling all the way to the edge, leaving a 1-inch border on one short side. (While spreading the dough, it may tug a little, but it should not tear.) Begin rolling the dough into a tight coil on the short side opposite the border, pinching the seam to seal it.
Cut the dough lengthwise in half with a large, sharp knife. With the cut sides facing up, line up each half parallel to the other. Twist the halves together and tuck the ends under, keeping the cut sides facing up. Place in a loaf pan that has been greased.
Repeat with the remaining filling and the second half of the dough.
Cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until puffed. (It won’t double in size quite yet.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake the risen loaves for 40 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean without resistance.
For the Syrup:
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water while the babkas are baking. Bring to a low simmer, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn off the heat.
When the loaves come out of the oven, brush them with the syrup right away. Allow the babkas to cool in the pans for 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This recipe yields 2 loaves (8×4-inch).
You can dissolve fast-acting yeast in a warm (110F) milk combination with 2 teaspoons of sugar. Allow to bubble for a few minutes before adding to the dry ingre∂ιєnts.
Don’t forget to add the syrup at the end. It not only makes the bread look shinier on the outside, but it also keeps it from drying out.
If you don’t have a mixer, you can mix the dough in a big mixing bowl with a wooden spoon before kneading it by hand. It will take 10 to 15 minutes at the very least. If you’re hand-kneading, be cautious not to over-dust the counter, as you don’t want to add too much flour to the dough.